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Letter to Committee Chairmen Enumerating Continuing Powers, Functions, and Responsibilities of the Director for Mutual Security.

March 27, 1952

My dear :

Pursuant to section 502(c) of the Mutual Security Act of 1951 (P.L. 165, 82d Cong., 1st sess., approved October 10, 1951), I hereby inform the Committee on foreign Relations of the Senate (Committee on foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives) that I have found that, except as hereinafter set forth, all of the powers, functions, and responsibilities transferred to the Director for Mutual Security by subsection (b)(2) of section 502 of said act are necessary to enable the Director for Mutual Security, after June 30, 1952, to carry out the duties conferred upon him by section 503 of said act.

Powers, functions, and responsibilities under the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, as amended, with respect to the following are not necessary to enable the said Director, after June 30, 1952, to carry out the duties so conferred upon him:

1. Creation of a corporation (section 104(d)).

2. Consultation with the Secretary of State in the specific manner prescribed in section 105(b).

3. Consultation between the chief of the special mission and the chief of the United States diplomatic mission in the specific manner prescribed in section 109(b).

4. Guarantee of investments in enterprises producing or distributing informational media (section 111(b)(3)).

5. Procurement and increased production in participating countries, under sections 115(i)(I) and 117(a), of materials which are required by the United States as a result of deficiencies or potential deficiencies in the resources within the United States; and purchase, under section 115(i)(2), of strategic and critical materials in any participating country.

6. Promotion and development of travel by citizens of the United States to and within participating countries (section 117(b)).

7. Payment of ocean freight charges of relief supplies and packages (section 117(c)).

The findings under section 502(c) have been framed in terms of a specification of powers to be discontinued rather than powers to be continued. This approach has been adopted because by the enactment of section 503 the Congress has already limited the range of the Director's responsibilities with respect to the activities of the Mutual Security Agency, thereby anticipating the action which had originally been contemplated would result from the finding under section 502(c).

The Congress, in the Mutual Security Act, reaffirmed the proposition that the mutual security efforts of the free world should not fail because some cooperating countries cannot now provide all the physical and financial resources required for defense mobilization. The Mutual Security Agency already has adjusted its programs and organization, and has curtailed some functions and modified others in order to direct its full effort to the objectives of the mutual security program. Under section 502(b) (2) of the act, however, the Mutual Security Agency now is using to support mutual defense the same major powers and functions which originally were needed to assist economic recovery. This experience has shown that the basic powers of the Economic Cooperation Act, appropriately redirected toward the new objectives, are necessary to enable the Director for Mutual Security after June 30, 1952, to carry out his responsibilities under section 503 of the Mutual Security Act. Those provisions of the Economic Cooperation Act which are not required for this purpose are set forth in the above finding.

Although the Mutual Security Agency's authority to subsidize relief shipments and to make guarantees of informational media investments will be discontinued, it is essential that these activities be carried on after June 30, 1952. There has been submitted for the consideration of the Congress as a part of the 1953 mutual security legislation a request for authority and funds which would permit the President to designate any department or agency of the Government to carry on the function of subsidizing relief shipments. At an early date there also will be submitted for the consideration of the Congress a request for authority to enable the Government to continue the work of guaranteeing investments in informational media enterprises.

I am enclosing for your information copies of a report relating to the foregoing prepared by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget.

Sincerely yours,


Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Tom Connally, Chairman of the Senate foreign Relations Committee, and to the Honorable James P. Richards, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

For the President's statement upon signing the Mutual Security Act of 1951, see 1951 volume, this series, Item 250.

The report prepared by the Director, Bureau of the Budget (8 pp., mimeographed) was also released.

Harry S. Truman, Letter to Committee Chairmen Enumerating Continuing Powers, Functions, and Responsibilities of the Director for Mutual Security. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231557

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